From a young age, Jesús Luzardo always dreamed about playing baseball in the Major Leagues. While playing for 19 years, he developed a passion for the sport; later on, Luzardo decided he only wanted to be a pitcher.
“Growing up I had many inspirations but the two that stood out to me are, Venezuelan pitcher, Felix Hernandez, from the Seattle Mariners and former Venezuelan pitcher, Johan Santana, from the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets,” Luzardo said.
Luzardo attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from 2013-2016. Once he started to play for the MSD baseball team he soon realized the team played at a very advanced level. The strengths of the MSD baseball team gave Luzardo experiences he could have never imagined, such as getting watched by both college level scouts and professional scouts.
“From day one, I knew he would make it to the big leagues. He always had his mind in the right place and knew what he wanted,” MSD baseball coach Todd Fitz-Gerald said.
Fitz-Gerald coached the baseball team during all 4 years of Luzardo’s time at MSD. They have known each other for longer, and remain in contact to this day.
“He was gonna do anything and everything to get through injuries and become a professional baseball player, that’s what separates him from the rest,” Fitz-Gerald said.
Luzardo had the choice of playing division one baseball for the University of Miami Hurricanes, but instead he decided it was time for the minor leagues. He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2016, and joined the team right after graduating from MSD. Playing for over five different minor league teams, which included the Vermont Lake Monsters, Stockton Ports, Midland Rockhounds, Nashville Sounds, and the GCL Nationals over a three year period which was the start of his professional career.
“Staying focused, grinding it out, getting through long bus rides, bad food and being disciplined gave me the experience of a lifetime,” Luzardo said.
During his first appearance in Major League Baseball (MLB), playing for the Oakland Athletics on Sept. 11, 2019, Luzardo pitched three innings against the Houston Astros.
“Before I made my debut, I was a little nervous but anxious to get on the mound,” Luzardo said after he played six more games and continued pitching with a winning track.
Ahead of Luzardo was one of the most important games in the MLB, a playoff game against the Tampa Bay Rays, only a short while into his MLB career.
“Training for this game was like any other, and overall a good experience,” Luzardo said.
Even though Oakland lost to Tampa Bay on Oct. 2, and was eliminated from the playoffs, Luzardo pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Overall, one of his best performances in the MLB, in an extremely important game.
After proving his value in the MSD Baseball team, Luzardo has made the difficult jump to the MLB and hopes to only get better throughout his baseball career.